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Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2004 Nov 25;39(1-2):1-7.

Wetting characteristics of aqueous rhamnolipids solutions.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Ege University, Bornova, 35100 Izmir, Turkey.


The wetting properties of surfactants on solid surfaces form the basis of many industrial and biological processes. The preferential adsorption of the surfactants from aqueous solutions onto solid surfaces alter the adhesion tension of the surface and this behavior may cause partial to complete wetting of the surfaces by the aqueous surfactant solutions. However, different types of surfactants show different wetting characteristics. To study the wetting properties of biologically produced rhamnolipids (RL), advancing contact angles of the aqueous solutions of the RL mixture of R1 and R2 in a ratio of R2/R1=1.1 were measured as a function of surfactant concentration. For a comparison of the wetting performance, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) was chosen as the reference surfactant. A hydrophilic glass surface, a hydrophobic polymer, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and gold surface were used as the solid surfaces to determine the wetting characteristics of rhamnolipids. At low surfactant concentrations (RL concentration <3x10(-5)M, SDS concentration<3x10(-4)M) contact angle (Theta) varied in a certain range depending on the character of the surfactant interactions with the surface. This was followed by a decrease in contact angle. Parallel to this behavior, at low surfactant concentrations the adhesion tension decreased, then remained constant and an increase at higher surfactant concentrations was obtained on hydrophobic surfaces. On hydrophilic surfaces a steady decrease in adhesion tension was observed with both surfactant solutions.

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